a poem about breasts

she asks me to send her
a poem about breasts
for her anthology
and I try to explain as best
I can although all art must
be episodic must be rooted
must be strained through
the circled memory of
the artist the memory needs
continuous refreshing life
studies are necessary
to work without a model
is to work not just without
a net but without
a wire first the sketches
have to be done from
many angles in various
light before the painting
can be attempted if depth
is to be so much
as pretended we are not
many of us beethovens there
are canyons within and
without the human heart
the quality of mercy
is not strange and although
art imitates life imitates art
beauty is in the eye but
she is just not
getting it


© 1999 by
michael mcneilley